What Is Actually Involved in an Intervention?

What Is Actually Involved in an Intervention?

An intervention is a planned, group approach to helping an addict see that she needs immediate help

When a family member or friend is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is difficult to stand by and watch her destroy her life. If you decide that an intervention is needed, then taking the right steps to plan and carry out the process can often mean the difference between life and death for the person you love. Getting the right help from a trained interventionist can increase the chances of both a successful intervention and successful treatment program. Learn what qualities go into effective interventions to empower both yourself and your family to help your loved one in the right way.

Intervention Explained

The Association of Intervention Specialists defines intervention as “a gathering where family, friends and even colleagues gather together with the addict and in a caring way present the reality of their situation to them.” An intervention can take place in any setting wherein the intervention team feels comfortable; possibilities could include the home of the addict, an office or a neutral location where interruptions are not a factor. In short, the location is crucial to the success of the meeting, so do not simply choose a convenient place.

The intervention team is typically made up of a few of the addict’s closest family members and friends. The team can also include respected members of the clergy, co-workers and mentors. The group meets as many times as necessary to rehearse the intervention and help each other feel comfortable with their roles in the process. Each member of the intervention team needs to be able to communicate his thoughts and feelings in a thoughtful, yet neutral way. The Mayo Clinic lists the following goals of an addiction intervention:

  • Provide examples of the destructive behaviors of addiction and how those behaviors affect the addict and his loved ones
  • Offer a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, guidelines and goals for the addict
  • Spell out what each person will do if the addict refuses to accept treatment

The addict must understand that getting help is the only choice, because the goal of the intervention is to see her immediately into treatment. In short, the addict must understand that, whether she chooses to get help or not, that her relationship is now different with everyone present.

You must make several arrangements before holding an intervention. First, one or two members of the team must research treatment options and locate the best place for the addict to get help. Other members of the team must determine the safest time for the intervention to take place. Getting the help of an intervention specialist is the best way to ensure that each part of the process runs smoothly.

The Benefits of Using an Intervention Specialist

Intervention specialists are trained and licensed in organizing and carrying out these vital meetings. Such specialists have extensive training in the areas of addiction and mental health, so they can help the intervention team understand what treatment options are available. The interventionist is not an addiction counselor nor a therapist, but he can provide important insights into the nature of the addiction for those who will participate in the intervention. Interventionists have close ties to the communities of mental health and substance abuse treatment, so they can also help family members and friends navigate the system in the most effective way. In short, these workers are vital to the success of such meetings.

During the planning process, the interventionist helps the team rehearse their parts in the intervention, and she can help locate and arrange admission and transportation to the treatment facility for the addict. She can also help the team determine when the safest and most effective moment is for the intervention to take place. During the intervention, the interventionist serves as the host or leader of the meeting and a guide throughout the process. She keeps the intervention focused as she helps the members of the team express their thoughts in the most productive ways. Use these services of the interventionist to ensure the success of your gathering. A successful intervention will push your loved one to seek the help he needs to lead a drug-free life, so take the time to plan this meeting well.

Find Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If your loved one struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, then it is time to think about planning an intervention. Such a meeting may be the only way to demonstrate to your loved one the way addiction is affecting him and those he loves the most, but use the services of a trained interventionist to increase the chances of your loved one getting the help he needs. If your loved one struggles with substance abuse, then know that we are here for you; call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.